SMITHVILLE — The mold of a new comprehensive plan with deliverable goals over the next 10 years was launched earlier this month by a partnership between Smithville city leaders and stakeholders throughout the community.
While it’s too premature to pinpoint what plan priorities will be, community input is helping shape the city’s plan and future in a variety of areas including recreation, education, economic development, diverse housing and retention of a small-town feel. Assistant City Administrator Nickie Lee has been part of a group focusing on enhanced recreation.
“The group discussed how Smithville could create unique community connections, how Smithville could become a recreational hub, how developed the lake should be and what additional recreation facilities they would like to see,” she said.
Chamber of commerce President Scott Pearson is helping mold a plan for economic development, which includes discussions on how to attract industrial businesses like distribution warehouses.
“The community is ready for both residential and commercial growth ... and mostly willing to accept new commercial industry if done in keeping Smithville’s heritage and values alive,” he said.
By way of education, Smithville School Board President Russell Fries said multiple ideas have been generated including how to improve adult educational opportunities, which may be difficult as some resources, like the Northland Career Center, have already been established nearby.
“It’s 15 minutes away,” Fries said. “I think more plausible partnerships the district can have with the community will be ones similar to those of the past.”
With more development happening on the north end of Smithville, Fries also said he sees potential in the district partnering with other entities like the city to help implement more connectivity moving forward.
“I was blown away by the number of students walking to Eagle Heights Elementary School. We would get lot of use out of more trails and sidewalks.”